Despite trailing Glen Burnie for most of Wednesday's game, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and tied 3-3, the Chesapeake softball team had the go-ahead run on third base.
Glen Burnie pitcher Ali Moos, who struck out 11 batters, threw a ball in the dirt that got past the catcher to allow Chesapeake runner Jackie Richards to score on the passed ball. The run allowed Chesapeake to take the lead for the first time and defeat Glen Burnie 4-3 Wednesday afternoon in the 4A East Region Semifinals.
“I was just thinking I have to kick it into overdrive and score a run for my team,” said Richards after the game. “I was just overcome with joy.”
Cougar coach Don Ellenberger said when Richards got to third base, he told her on a passed ball—she would score.
“Jackie is an excellent base runner and I told her I don’t care what happens, you have to score on a passed ball,” said Ellenberger. “I trust her judgment and she is one of our smartest base runners. She took off as soon as she realized that ball got past the catcher.”
Chesapeake may have come out on top Wednesday afternoon, but the Cougars were trailing Glen Burnie throughout most of the game. The Gophers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when right fielder Jessica Robinson hit a two-run homerun clear over the centerfield fence.
Glen Burnie struck again in the top of the fifth, when Jordan Hogan hit a two-out, RBI double to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead.
Throughout most of the game, Chesapeake struggled to hit off Moos. The Glen Burnie pitcher struck out 11 batters on the afternoon and had great control over her off-speed pitches throughout the contest.
“Glen Burnie is an unbelievable ball club and we knew that coming in,” said Ellenberger. “Ali [Moos] pitches extremely well. She pitched us down and I thought she could have more than 11 strikeouts, but we finally started to make contact.”
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, third baseman Kim Federowicz came to the plate with a runner on third. After fouling off numerous pitches, Federowicz hit a shot to left field on an RBI double, which closed the gap 3-2.
Federowicz advanced to third on a passed ball. And scored the tying run on another wild pitch into the dirt.
“At bat I fouled a lot off, trying to make sure I didn’t hit a high one,” said Federowicz. “Then one came in that I was able to hit out there … Coming home it is instinct thing, but I still get pretty nervous.”
Chesapeake will advance to the region finals on Friday. They will take on the winner of the Broadneck-Severna Park game.
“Either team we have to come out strong,” said Federowicz. “They are both really good clubs so it is going to be a good game on Friday.”